Life with FH

We’ve all heard the stories. A Marathon runner unexpectedly dropping dead of a heart attack, despite their seemingly perfect health. A young athlete having a heart attack halfway through his basketball game. Familial Hypercholesterolemia or FH is a dangerous, but fairly common, and often undiagnosed, genetic condition. In the US, one in 250 adults have FH, which is an inherited condition that causes high cholesterol regardless of a person’s weight or age. When left untreated, FH can lead to heart disease and early heart attacks, and can reduce a person’s life by 20 years.  

My husband was diagnosed with FH in his early 20s.  To be honest, we didn’t think much of it at the time. He had always maintained a somewhat healthy lifestyle and exercised several times a week. Unhealthy was a word he’d never associated with himself. He was given medication and thought that would be enough. But two weeks later the medication triggered a dormant autoimmune disease called Alopecia, causing his once thick, dark hair to begin falling out in clumps. He threw the medication away, and our awareness and concern regarding his FH quietly shifted to the background in the noise that is life.   

When we decided to start a family several years later, FH was far from our minds. But sure enough, at the ages of 6 and 7 years, our two beautiful boys were diagnosed with pediatric FH. The diagnosis was scary and difficult, partly because of the statistics around the genetic condition and partly because of the extreme lifestyle changes we knew we needed to make. With the health and safety of our children consuming our thoughts, we began researching the condition in earnest – we read countless articles, blogs, and expert write-ups. We scheduled an appointment at the nearest Lipid Clinic and began incorporating exercise for the entire family. We completely eliminated many foods from our kitchen, and added new foods. Our focus is now on fiber-rich foods and foods high in Omega 3s and 6s, both of which we learned are key to lowering cholesterol and controlling FH.  

Our boys were impacted the hardest by these changes. Unfortunately, they don’t really enjoy eating fish or most fiber-rich foods. Omega Bun products have been the perfect solution. With a simple switch from regular buns and bread to Omega Bun products, my children are now getting huge amounts of fiber and Omega 3s and 6s, all in a simple sandwich. They hardly noticed the switch since their healthy sandwiches taste just like they did on whole wheat bread. In the mornings, a quick grab-and-go Omega Bun Banana Muffin is the perfect breakfast for them. For lunch, they take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a couple of slices of Omega Bun Artisan Golden Loaf. 

Finding easy, workable options is the key to managing and controlling any health issue. We found what worked for our family and are overjoyed.  We hope that after a year of these lifestyle changes we’ll see a marked difference in our boys’ lipid screenings! 

— Elizabeth Beckley